Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Huckabee Wins WV GOP Convention

Mike Huckabee has won the 18 delegates up for grabs at today's GOP presidential candidate selection convention in Charleston, on the convention's second ballot.  Romney had a lead over Huckabee on the first ballot, but McCain supporters (McCain was well back in third) threw their support to Huckabee in the second round giving him a majority of the delegates.   Both Romney and Huckabee personally appeared at the convention this morning.

UpdateLooks like McCain sent word to his backers in West Virginia to vote for Huckabee on the second ballot, thus denying Romney a victory here.  Romney, as is his wont, is carping about that.

Forgive me for saying this, Romney-backers, but if McCain's going to win the nomination I hope he puts it away today: I'm growing to loath Mitt more and more with each statement he makes.

Update IIHere's an informative piece about the resources Romney put into the state and his campaign's expectations of a victory.

(And, incidentally, the piece starts off with a well-deserved shot at the Charleston Civic Center.)

Update III:  The great Richelieu chimes in:  "I'm shocked, shocked to see Politics in West Virginia!"


Alex said...

I'm ashamed to say that I had no idea that that was how WV was awarding delegates. When did the delegates pick the candidates? Presumably before yesterday.

Brian said...

The delegates to the convention were selected, in each individual county, in December and January. In most counties, registered Republicans could vote for delegates online or at traditional polling site. Despite the use of online voting, turnout for delegate selection was abysmal: apparently less than one percent of WV Republicans voted.

The organizers of the new convention scheme hoped that the convention would garner a lot of media attention because it would be the first contest on February 5 to announce results. In that, the convention was a huge success. However, if the WV GOP decides to use the convention format again they should take measures to increase public awareness of the delegate contests (thus hopefully increasing turnout), such as setting one election date statewide for physical balloting instead of leaving that to each county.

(Full disclosure: As I've mentioned before, I was a candidate for delegate to the GOP convention, pledged to Rudy Giuliani. I lost by a comfortable margin.)

Alex said...

I had no idea.

How did you get to be a delegate (as opposed to someone merely voting for a delegate)? Did enough people vote for Rudy that he was given a certain number of delegates and someone how you and his campaign agreed that you would act as one of them?

It's all very mysterious.

Was there any smoke-filled back room dealing for your vote? Did you see any suspicious looking political operatives and so forth.

Brian said...


I apologize for being unclear in my previous reply. I wasn't a delegate at the convention; I ran for a delegate position (one of Harrison County's slots), but didn't make it. Indeed, none of the delegate candidates pledged to Giuliani made in it in my county.